Wrongful Convictions Within the Past Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The over-enthusiasm associated with the extensive and unrestrained caution which the prosecutors avail gives birth to the settings in which a prosecutor is able to cause the conviction of an innocent individual. Besides, the mixture of over-enthusiasm and unimpeded discretion on one side and regular non-adversarialness on the other outcomes in an irregular playing field in majority of the defendants either guilty or innocent. (Griffin, 1274)

The apparent cases of wrongful convictions have happened for causes other than lack of access to confidential psychotherapy files. In the opinion of Dwyer Neufeld & Scheck, 2000, the three main reasons in cases of wrongful convictions have been mistaken eyewitness identification, lack of proper police interrogations, and tardy investigative works. Whereas no body must make light of the urgency to safeguard against the jailing of innocent individuals, this danger must be empirically corroborated instead of claimed ordinarily. There have been instances of criminal cases wherein access to confidential psychiatric record although related to a hospitalization and not to psychotherapy averted a wrongful conviction. In order to look forward to an alternative version of the alleged events the courts are keen on taking advantages from the both fronts. (Koggel; Levin; Furlong, 25)

It is important to note that in order to substantiate the truthfulness of a witness to have information on his or her mental status during the period of the event or of the complainant is crucial. This seemingly justifiable claim of grounds for likely relevance also loses weight when deconstructed with respect to a genuine appreciation of the psychotherapeutic process. Considering for the benefit of argument, an alleged victim in a sexual assault trial has started proceedings with an intentional falsehood; the chances are that she is far more liable to finally deliver reliable testimony in case the privacy of her psychotherapy stays respected. (Koggel; Levin; Furlong, 27)

Remedying the problem of wrongful corrections will need altering the enticement which the prosecutors and the police encounter and reviving the view that the purpose of justice is seeking the truth. There has been a constant upsurge in the cases of wrongful convictions as the safeguards against the same have been worn down by the search of drug dealers, white-collar criminals, extremists, child molesters. The New Deal had made its independent contribution with regard to wrongful conviction. A vital characteristic of New Deal law was delegation by the Congress of the power of law-making to the various agencies for regulation. The delegation blended enforcement and statutory authority in identical hands. The capability of the bureaucrats to describe criminal forms of offenses by their meanings of the regulations which they write renders regulatory police immense levels of discretion. (Roberts, 571)

An important contributor to wrongful convictions have been plea bargaining. Pleas bargaining have rendered the justice system to be corrupt through making illusory crime instead of real types. The system of making individuals agree to matters that never happened so as to evade charges for matters that happened builds a legal form of culture which raises fiction over that of the truth. Through the process of rendering the case acquiescent, plea bargains facilitate prosecutors to amplify weak forms of evidence with that of the psychological pressures. John Langbein, legal scholar rightly makes a comparison of the modern American plea bargaining system with that of the primeval mechanism relating to judicial torture. Several innocent individuals take an appeal merely to culminate their torment. (Roberts, 571)

It is a fact that self-incrimination and confession have taken the place of jury trial. Like what Bentham desired, torture has been revived as a primary means of conviction. Akin to the legal forms of culture that functions, it allows prosecutors to usher changes in the event of the absence of the crimes. Undeniably plea bargaining has been a leading factor behind wrongful convictions. In the initial place, plea bargains weaken investigative type of work of the police. As few cases are presented before trial, the police have understood that their various forms of evidence are very rarely corroborated in the courtroom drama with the result that there is an element of carelessness involved. Careless investigations have lower odds of leading to trepidation of the party who is in the wrong. Secondly, plea bargaining increases a great deal the number of cases which are able to be prosecuted. (Roberts, 572)

It has been found by the prosecutors that they are able to pressurize a plea as well as heighten their rate of conviction by increasing the amount as also gravity relating to the charges which point towards the defendant. The counsel directs the defendants that conviction during the period of trial on just one accusation is able to attract more serious punishment compared to a plea to a lesser accusation. The difference in sentencing is sufficient in rendering plea bargaining coercive. From the point it is understood that the law is being lost, it is simple to comprehend the reasons behind innocents who are on a death sentence. Although as crucial as it is to try to get these innocent individuals from the death sentence, fresh fatalities of the system could be placed there at a greater pace compared to innocent's projects. Besides, the obsession with capital penalties and also with instances wherein DNA proofs are able to clear the worries regarding innocence leaves the huge majority of people who are convicted wrongfully without a prayer. (Roberts, 572)


Wrongful convictions are legal cases wherein an individual is convicted of a crime which he did not commit and proved innocent normally because the actual offender confessed about the crime. Cases of wrongful convictions are on slowly on the rise in U.S.. The main causes of wrongful convictions are (i) investigative misconduct (ii) suppression of exculpatory evidence: (iii) flaws in the screening processes: (iv) improper performance by the defense counsel (v) prosecutorial misconduct. Correcting the problem of wrongful corrections will require transforming the temptation which the prosecutors and police experience and reviving the view that the goal of justice is seeking the truth. Because of leaps in science and technology, DNA proofing is able to clear the worries of wrongful conviction cases a great deal.


Griffin, L. The Correction of Wrongful Convictions: A Comparative Perspective,. American

University of International Law Review, vol. 16, no. 1, 2001, pp: 1241-1308.

Koggel, Christine M; Levin, Charles; Furlong, Allannah. Confidential Relationships:

Psychoanalytic, Ethical, and Legal Contexts. Rodopi. 2002.

Leipold, Andrew D. How the pretrial process contributes to wrongful convictions. American Criminal Law Review, vol. 42, no. 3, September, 2002, pp: 1123-1165.

Roberts, Paul Craig. The cause of wrongful convictions. The Independent Review, vol. 8, no.

4, 2003, Spring. pp: 567-574.

Rutberg, Susan. Anatomy of a miscarriage of justice: The Wrongful conviction of Peter. J.

Rose" Golden Gate University Law Review, vol. 37, no. 1,…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Wrongful Convictions Within The Past" (2008, April 22) Retrieved August 22, 2017, from

"Wrongful Convictions Within The Past" 22 April 2008. Web.22 August. 2017. <

"Wrongful Convictions Within The Past", 22 April 2008, Accessed.22 August. 2017,